The Indian Air Force will induct the air-to-ground version of the BrahMos cruise missile and integrate them with its Sukhoi-30MKI combat jets by December 2007, a top defence official said on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters in Tiruchirapalli, BrahMos Aerospace CEO A Sivathanu Pillai said the production of the supersonic missile by his company had been completed and the procedure to fit them to the Su-30 jets was 'under progress'.
Static and dynamic test on the ground were in progress and various flight tests would have to be done subsequently, he said.
No structural changes would have to be made to the Su-30 to make it capable of carrying the BrahMos as the jet already had a hook and loader assembly in its belly.
A team of experts from the IAF, BrahMos Aerospace, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Sukhoi Design Bureau had been formed to evolve an integrated hook assembly in the jet so that it could carry two BrahMos missiles on its wings.
Apart from the mechanical assembly of hooks and straps to house the long and heavy version of the missile, a suitable electronic system or a fire control system linked to the cockpit avionics would have to be designed and engineered, he said.
Since the BrahMos has a longer range of up to 290 kms, unlike other missiles with shorter ranges of 10 to 20 kms, the electronic systems for controlling it were more complicated.
However, Pillai was confident that all procedural wrangles would be overcome soon and the BrahMos would be fitted on the Su-30 jets in a successful manner before the targeted date of December 2007.
He said the BrahMos version meant for the Army had already gone into commercial production.
The Army has placed a substantial order for the missiles that would be inducted in the force from 2007. The land-to-land version is designed to be mounted on a Tatra vehicle produced by Bharat Earth Movers Limited and the command post has been designed by Hyderabad-based Electronic Corporation of India Limited.
Similarly, the navy has begun deploying the ship-launched version of BrahMos in its warships in a phased manner.
Pillai brushed aside reports that his company was facing a financial crunch. He said the Russian and Indian governments were providing the required investment for this joint venture without any hassle or hesitation.